How will Johnny Herbert fare on BTCC debut?
The Silverstone round on the 2009 HiQ MSA British Touring Car Championship (BTCC) calendar will welcome a new face to the grid, and a familiar one at that – as erstwhile British Grand Prix winner Johnny Herbert gets set to make his debut with Team Dynamics.
Herbert has been drafted in to fill in for James Thompson as the Yorkshireman has prior racing commitments elsewhere, and will remain at the wheel of the Honda Civic until season's end, taking in subsequent appearances at Rockingham and Brands Hatch along the way.
Following in the wheel tracks of fellow former grand prix winners and British racing heroes Jim Clark, Nigel Mansell, Damon Hill and David Coulthard in making his tin-top bow in the hotly-contested BTCC, Herbert acknowledged that there could be few better places to be joining the fray, having achieved his breakthrough triumph in the top flight at Silverstone back in 1995 – and he hinted at a long-term engagement in the series should he enjoy himself.
Herbert did indeed test encouragingly for Dynamics at Rockingham back in July, and has considerable experience of racing with a roof over his head from his outings in sportscars and the iconic Le Mans 24 Hours – in which he triumphed outright for Mazda in 1991 – but Silverstone will be his first taste of the cut-and-thrust, doorhandle-to-doorhandle nature of the BTCC around the Northants circuit's short National layout.